Fanfare, July/August 2011

“The American pianist Thomas Sauer, who studied primarily with Jorge Bolet and Edward Aldwell, has a discography that includes sonatas by Haydn and works for strings and piano by Britten, Hindemith, and Mozart. The present disc reveals him to be an accomplished pianist who is especially successful with the quirky humor found in Sonatas Nos. 16 and 18. In these works, his approach is understated and wry, with a discreet wink of the eye rather than the kick in the pants of some players. Everything is measured and in good taste, without exaggerations of tempo or dynamics. Certainly this is ideal in the first and second movements of both works, in which he finds an almost Mozartean elegance and transparency. His varied touches in the Adagio grazioso of No. 16 are executed with an etcher’s precision, with leggiero playing that a Gieseking might envy, and the tricky dynamic changes in the second movement of No. 18 are perfect.”